Prime Minister Scott Morrison assured Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during a telephone conversation on 1 April that Australia’s support for the Solomon Islands in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic was utterly firm.

Prime Minister Morrison said he had reminded other G20 leaders during a special virtual summit last week that it was critical to address the needs of the Pacific Island countries at this unprecedented time.

He informed Prime Minister Sogavare that Australia’s external support would continue to prioritise our Pacific family. He noted that the resilience of the Pacific family, right down to the villages, would be important over the coming months.

Australia is allocating SBD70 million to boost the efforts of the Solomon Islands Government to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This substantial commitment will be used in three critical areas: maintaining critical health care services; addressing the economic impacts of the pandemic; and supporting the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force in relation to COVID.

The Australian High Commission will work closely with the Solomon Islands Government to determine how these funds can be best deployed, coordinating at the same time with other bilateral partners and international organisations.